FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jake Fish
US Sailing Communications Manager
US Sailing Launches Community of Sailing Grant Program in Support of Youth-Based Community Sailing Programs
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (August 29, 2012) –Thanks to the generosity of Gerard and Diane Koeppel, US Sailing will offer 12 grants to community sailing programs that provide education to children, ages 18 and under. The Community of Sailing Grant, named for its desire to connect like-minded organizations throughout the country, will provide grants to non-profit organizations that work with youth. Preference will be given to those programs that focus on populations that have no prior experience with sailing or marine education.
“We see plenty of support for international, national, and regional racing that involves adult and/or professional sailors,” said Gerard Koeppel. “We wanted to focus on local programs that draw into the sport the youngest sailors of the future, many of whom may not have sailing backgrounds or families that can readily support sailing activities. We hope the Community of Sailing Grant program will help bring these sailors and their families into the wide world of this glorious sport."
US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart had this to say about the significance of these grants, “Over 250,000 people pass through community sailing programs on an annual basis and a large majority of them are children. Like most non-profits, community sailing programs are constantly tasked with the challenge of trying to provide the best facility, equipment and opportunity possible on a limited budget. Many of them operate at a loss. This grant program will make a tremendous difference to these organizations.”
As part of the grant fulfillment, each organization receiving funds must share their experiences, materials and curriculums with US Sailing, who will make those resources available to every US Sailing community program in the country. The end result is that the Community of Sailing Grants will impact far more programs than those that directly receive the grants. The hope is that these grants impact all the organizations that use the materials associated with the programs utilized by the grant recipients.
Grants will be awarded in $2,000 allotments. Interested organizations should visit US Sailing at http://training.ussailing.org/commsail/Communityofsailing.htm for more information and the application.
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing) is the national governing body for sailing. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, the organization provides leadership, promotes integrity, and fosters growth for the sport of sailing in the United States. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Teams. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.